The Kanembu ethnic group including location, religion, and relationship with the Gorane [TCD30997.E]

A professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who specializes in the politics of Chad, and is co-author of Chad: A Nation in Search of its Future, stated that the Kanembu are very different from the Gorane in terms of language, location and lifestyle (2 Feb. 1999). He explained that the Gorane are located in the north-east of Chad, are Muslim and mainly pastoral whereas the Kanembu are located in north-western part of Chad near Lake Chad, and speak the Kanembu language. He also stated that they tend to be fishermen and hunters although they also practise some agriculture (ibid.). The majority of the Kanembu, the professor stated, are animist and a small minority are Muslim. Ethnologue corroborates the information provided by the professor in terms of location, language and religion, but adds that the Kanembu use Arabic as a second language (1992, 221).

The professor also said that the Kanembu are a small group that does not occupy an influential position in Chad's current politics. According to the The Encyclopedia of the Third World, the Kanembu comprise 1.8 percent of the total population (1992, 352).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Encyclopedia of the Third World. 1992. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Edited by George Thomas Kurian. New York: Facts on File.

Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 1992. 12th ed. Edited by Barbra F. Grimes. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Political Science professor specializing in the politics of Chad, and co-author of Chad: A Nation in Search of its Future, 2 February 1999. Telephone interview.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. January 1997 - December 1998. Vols. 37-38. Nos. 1-25.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. 1997-1998. Vols. 34-35. Nos. 1-12.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1997. 1998. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Press.

Political Handbook of the World 1998. 1998. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, World Network Connection (WNC)